Stop #2 In Greece: Paros
Last week I started posting some of our travel info from our 18 day vacation in Greece- I started with all of our Athens travel info, and today I am going to move on and share info from our next stop, the island of Paros. But first it would be remiss of me to not go back and talk about the struggles that Athens is going through as we speak. Greece is in need of some MAJOR prayers right now! If you haven't seen the news, there is a catastrophic wild fire blowing through the area near the Greek capital, and the death toll is already up to 74. They have also been saying they are closing down highways, resort towns, beaches, and even tours to the Acropolis and surrounding areas because of all of the smoke. I contacted my cousin last night to make sure they were all ok, and thankfully she said the fires are not near them. But, I am praying for all of the people who are being affected!! I am really hoping that they can get the fires under control quickly and that there are not any more lives lost. 🙏🏽 One thing I know about Greece though is that one of their biggest sources of income and one of the best ways for them to be able to rebuild after something like this is through the business of tourism! So, I'm going to keep blogging about our amazing trip, in hopes to inspire some of you to travel to Greece someday! This country is absolutely breathtaking, and I know the people of Athens and the surrounding areas will band together and get through this...
After we left Athens a few weeks back, we went to the beautiful and quaint little island of Paros. We decided it would be easiest to take a flight from the mainland to our first island, because the ferry rides from the mainland to the islands take quite a few hours- BUT, the plane ride was literally 20 minutes long. So we booked a flight from the Athens airport on Olympic Airlines to Paros. I kind of laughed because we sat down, took off, and I swear landed before I could even read one chapter in my book- that's how quick of a flight it was! I definitely recommend taking this route instead, and it was actually a pretty cheap ticket to boot! In my upcoming posts, when we did some more island hopping, I will link and explain that between the islands we took the high speed ferries...but again, from mainland Greece to your first island, the ferry just sounded too cumbersome to us.
You end up landing in this teeny tiny little airport on Paros if you fly, and we took a taxi from there to our adorable boutique hotel, the Afrodite Hotel. I will say, if you have your international license, I would actually not mind renting a car on the island of Paros. It is a fairly quiet little island, so driving there didn't seem like it would be as intimidating as driving in a place like Athens. The island isn't huge, but between the different little towns and points of interest, you definitely need transportation. We didn't rent a car, so we ended up walking everywhere we went, and we couldn't walk to some of the farther little towns that we possibly would have wanted to see had we rented a car. Just to give you a point of reference, the airport is about two miles from the town of Aliki, where we stayed, so we definitely could not have dragged our luggage two miles to walk to the hotel. HAH- hence the cab ride, which was somewhat pricey. However, after we were settled and didn't have our luggage to drag along, we did walk over two miles to different beaches and such during the day. We just couldn't walk clear across the island to points on the other side because it's 13 X 10 miles width and length. AND, it was HOT! We definitely didn't feel like we were missing out though because the little town of Aliki, and the surrounding towns, were just so enchanting that we were happy to relax and hang around that area for the three days that we were in Paros. Athens was an amazing place to go, go, go- BUT, Paros was the perfect place to unwind after all of that action!
If you do end up going to this sweet, little fishermens' island, I definitely suggest staying in Aliki. After our taxi driver drove us around the island a bit more to the port city to catch our ferry to Santorini on the last day, we realized that Aliki was the quietest and most charming area of the island. (If you want more night life, Naoussa, the port town might be right up your alley then.) As I mentioned in my Athen's post, my brother-in-law is the master planner, and again he didn't steer us wrong with his pick here on this island! TripAdvisor people- use it, research your destination, and know your reason for traveling!! Do you want a party place? Do you want to be some place that is relaxing and quiet? Are you wanting to be close to a certain site? Ask yourself these things and do your research before you go! Reading the reviews was immensely helpful in this planning process! We are not crazy party people, so we chose more quiet islands or quiet places on larger islands. All the locals in Aliki know each other, they even know each other's dogs by name. It was just like a little Leave It To Beaver town, but Greek style- SO PERFECT for us!
As for food, in every hotel/all locations we stayed at for the 18 days, we opted to pay extra to have breakfast included in our stay (some hotels it was free). The breakfast at the Afrodite Hotel (and all hotels for that matter) was delish! Fresh fruit, fresh Greek yogurt, Greek koulouri and coffee, and more- YUM! It was just so much more convenient (and HEALTHY) to not have to worry about running out and always getting breakfast! I also always travel with my own protein bars from home, just incase I ever missed breakfast because I wanted to sleep in, LOL! Those protein bars saved me somedays! Right down the hill and around the corner from the Afrodite, there is a stretch of shops and restaurants that we could check out for lunch and dinner. However, funny thing on this island, we pretty much always ate at the same AMAZING restaurant called Mouragio. I think we tried one other place, but always decided to go back to Mouragio. The food was just so good; the servers treated you like locals, and you couldn't beat the view sitting RIGHT on the water! Paros is fairly hot during the day (it's pretty much like desert climate), so we just wanted something light and fresh to eat all the time. This restaurant delivered on that! Their salads and fresh seafood were to die for! AND, of course in true Greek fashion, they serve you fresh fruit at the end of your meal. My grandparents used to ALWAYS cut up fresh fruit for dessert- brought me right back to those times. LOVE!
So you are probably wondering what we actually did while we were on this tiny island...and basically we RELAXED! During the day we beached it, and at night we just strolled around after dinner. We relaxed at Aliki Beach one afternoon, which was a five minute walk from our hotel. AND, then we walked two miles or so to Faragas Beach the next day. Both of which were absolutely beautiful! It is very quiet at Aliki Beach, and you just lay your towel down on the sand wherever you would like and chill- there is no restaurant on the beach, so bring snacks and water. AND, at Faragas Beach, you can pay 10 Euros to rent a chair, and they have servers come out to serve you food and drinks, and again, you just CHILL! What more could you want in life?!? The water was just the most amazing turquoise color, and the weather was absolutely perfect. When you get a little hot, you can take a little dip into the refreshing ocean. Now that's the life! One thing to keep in mind, bring flip flops or water shoes if you want to do some more serious swimming because the ocean is a little rocky.
Honestly, friends, I could live on the island of Paros. Many people also said the island of Milos is very similar to Paros, so that's something to keep in mind for our next trip to Greece! BUT, this was sooooo my speed of life. I loved that everyone knew each other, and you had this sense of community and culture. I loved the weather- hot during the day, breezy at night. I loved the beaches and relaxation. It was just a simple way of life- NO STRESS like we experience here in our daily lives. It was absolutely perfect! I know today's post was short and sweet, but that's exactly the esssence of Paros- JUST SIMPLE AND SWEET! If you have any other questions about this island, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram! Thursday I will be posting about the next island that we traveled to- SANTORINI! But for now, I hope you have a RELAXING Tuesday! Bye, all!